Most pavements rated "excellent" in new PCA research

Study shows full-depth reclamation with cement extends pavement life

News Portland Cement Association January 02, 2008
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Full-depth reclamation (FDR) with cement can effectively extend pavement life in a cost-effective manner, according to a new study by the Portland Cement Association (PCA).

Although FDR has been used on pavement projects for more than 20 years, no long-term study had been conducted on its performance. The new PCA report examined the long-term strength and durability of more than 75 projects in eight states. The analysis observed no cases where the reclaimed cement-stabilized base led to severe road distress.

Each road was evaluated using a "pavement condition index" that rated the type, extent, and severity of damage. The average range for the FDR projects was 88 to 97%, indicating excellent performance.

FDR with cement is a procedure where failed asphalt pavements are pulverized and reclaimed in place, using cement to stabilize the recycled materials and create a new pavement base. This cement-stabilized base is then surfaced to provide a new, long-lasting pavement structure. It is increasing in popularity as state, county and city highway agencies have discovered that the process can cost 30 to 60% less when compared to conventional reconstruction methods. It also can be completed faster and without as much traffic disruption.

"The economics of the FDR with cement process has helped highway agencies reconstruct 50 to 100% more projects than with conventional construction methods," says Greg Halsted, PCA's pavement program manager. "FDR is a good fit for public officials looking for ways to stretch their road maintenance dollars."

Additionally, FDR is an environmentally sound construction method. Because it recycles old pavement into new base, it conserves natural resources and the energy required with remove and replace construction technique.

The complete research report is available as "Full-Depth Reclamation with
Portland Cement: A Study of Long-Term Performance." For more information or to order, visit the PCA Bookstore at www.cement.org/bookstore. Orders can also be placed by calling 800/868-6733.

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